A Childlike Faith


Watching my grandchildren wears me out. One particularly tiring day, after putting 10-month-old Sam down for a nap, I suggested to Emma that we take a nap while her brother slept. Emma, being the ripe old age of four, doesn’t take naps anymore. But I tried. “Emma, Mom-mom is really sleepy. Why don’t we both take a nap?”

“No, I don’t want to take a nap.”

“But I’m really sleepy, so I’m going to lie down for a little while. You should try to nap too. You can lie on the sofa with me.”

I made myself comfy on the chaise section of my sofa and closed my eyes, hoping she would follow suit. But within seconds, I heard her at the other end of the sofa, praying. “Dear God, I love playing with my mom-mom so much. Please make her not so sleepy so we can have more fun together. Amen. Mom-mom, did God answer my prayer?”

Not fair. What am I supposed to say? I can’t tell her he’s too busy—she already knows that he never sleeps and is never too busy to answer a multitude of prayers at the same time. With a dad as a pastor, she is beyond her years in understanding doctrinal principles some adults would struggle with. I couldn’t help it—I laughed. And now I can’t tell her God’s answer was ‘no’ because I am actually not so sleepy anymore. Maybe it was the endorphins released with laughing. But even that is a function God designed our bodies to do, so maybe that’s how he woke me up, answering her prayer. Whatever the method my answer was, “Yes, Emma, God answered your prayer.”

“Yea! Let’s play!”

I laughed about this for quite a while, then I posted it on Facebook. I’m reasonably sure there are people following my Facebook page just to hear about Emma’s antics. I wouldn’t want to disappoint them. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized this is exactly the kind of childlike faith we all ought to have. Emma prayed because she truly believed God would answer her. It wasn’t her last resort. She didn’t try several other things before asking God to intervene. Prayer was plan A. And she anticipated a positive outcome, not to mention a quick one. Yes, at some point, she’ll learn that God doesn’t always answer so quickly. She may need to bring a request to God over and over. But while he may not answer in the way she wants or in the timing she would like, somehow, I don’t think Emma will give up.

My 4-year-old granddaughter has once again taught me valuable life lessons:
• Pray first
• Believe God will answer
• Trust Him with the outcome
• Have the faith of a child

“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child, shall not enter it.” (Mark 10:15 ESV)

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